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How to Survive a Divorce That You Don't Want

by Lynda Moultry Belcher

Divorce can be one of the most emotionally tumultuous periods in a person's life, particularly if it is a divorce you don't want. According to Jennifer Baker with the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, 50 percent of all first-time marriages end in divorce. This staggering statistic showcases the need to understand the process of surviving physically, emotionally and mentally when your marriage ends, despite your efforts to save it.

Accept what has happened. The biggest part of moving on is accepting the fact that the divorce has or is taking place. Professional counseling and/or joining a divorce support group can get you through the process of acceptance faster, while at the same time, helping you to learn coping strategies to employ along the way. If you cling to your marriage, despite your partner's efforts to end it, you are only delaying the emotional fallout that will inevitably come thereafter.

Gather support from family and friends. In addition to a divorce support group or counseling, one of the biggest motivators for people going through divorce is the personal support around them. Rely on your family and friends to help you until you are back on your feet. Spend time with loved ones talking about what happened and why; sometimes, friends can have valuable insight as outsiders looking in. While you might not always like what they have to say or agree, it can help to get a different perspective on the situation.

Take control of your emotions. The more you start to focus on the things that were wrong in your marriage, you may begin to realize it was beyond repair. If it helps, focus on the things that drove you crazy about your ex to help you move beyond having such strong feelings for her. Don't bury your emotions, no matter if you feel sadness or anger, but don't dwell on them either. This is the time to start fresh, so you must learn to let go of what you once felt for your ex.

Get back out there. This does not mean you have to start dating or develop new romantic interests, but rather join the human race again. People going through a divorce they don't want tend to restrict their social circle quite a bit, particularly if you shared numerous mutual friends with your ex. However, once you've begun to heal, it's time to start doing the things you enjoy again, with those people you know will continue to provide support along the way. Take up a new hobby, or re-indulge in some old ones. Engage in activities with friends. Take the opportunity to try things your ex never wanted to; you may find a sense of empowerment for taking back your life--on your terms.

About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.